Briefly tell us about your book.
My book is a memoir. It personally feels like a sliding door scenario. I was midway through a conventional life of motherhood and wifedom in a remote area. I found myself stumbling across a career in Stand Up. I was so in love with the art form that I had an unstoppable desire to master the craft of it. But I lived in Alice Springs with a husband and five kids, and inside me already was a slow-growing and life-threatening dependence on alcohol. My book is very much a case of ‘be careful what you wish for’.
What inspired the idea behind this book?
The book was inspired when I was at rock bottom, penniless and living at the mercy of my parents in my childhood home. I had not long survived a near-death, 16-day coma when my actress sister Emily was visiting Mum and Dad. I was in a ball in our old bedroom that was once shared by five girls, and Emily sat down next to me and rubbed my shoulder and said: ‘You know you are going to write your way out of this’.
What are you hoping the reader will take away from your book?
That anyone and I mean ANYONE can fall victim to addiction, and I have desperately tried to show the reader what addiction can and does look like up close and personal. I hope we can all stop turning away from the sadness and agony addiction causes. Particularly amongst families. The stigma and the shame of alcoholism is astonishing. It is also very dangerous. It’s killing alcoholics every bit as much as the alcohol itself.
What was the most challenging part of writing this book?
The most challenging part of writing the book was letting it go and signing off on it. I find that part of the process excruciating. The last day especially. The moment when you have done all you can… but have you? I’m so relieved when the deadline passes and it’s behind me. I definitely won’t be reading it again for a while. It would be torture to find something I missed or something I wanted to expand on between now and it hitting the shelves.
What does it feel like to hold this book in your hands?
It feels surreal holding this book in my hands as it is only my second book. I don’t come from a family where people write books. I didn’t come from a town where people write books. It feels weird and wonderful in all the right places. But mostly it just feels fabulous.